New Mayor signals change to unite Council

12 October 2016

New Wellington Mayor Justin Lester has signalled major changes to how Wellington City Council will operate, with a new committee structure designed to give Councillors more input into decision-making and open up more spending decisions to public oversight.

Mayor Lester content

Mayor Justin Lester

Mayor Lester said the changes were about bringing all of the Council together to deliver the city’s busy programme of work.

“Wellingtonians sent a clear message on the weekend that they want the Council to get stuck in and work as a united team on the big challenges facing the city. I’ve asked the Deputy Mayor-elect, Paul Eagle, to work with me on talking to every Councillor one-on-one to make this happen.

“Today, we’re announcing major changes to how the Council works that will help us do that,” he said.

“I will be scrapping the various policy committees and bringing all decisions to a single Strategy and Policy Committee made up of all Councillors. This will mean the whole team will have input into the direction our Council takes, and everyone’s skills and experience will be put to best use.

“We will still have individual Councillors leading portfolios, but this is about bringing a team together to get on with the job.

“We have a very busy programme of work ahead of us – action on housing, transport, getting our economy humming – and I want all hands on deck to make it happen.”

Mayor Lester added that to encourage transparency he was also announcing a review of current Council delegations with new spending above $100,000 on strategic city growth and events projects now going to a decision by all Councillors.

“Wellingtonians made it clear that they expect good oversight of how their money is spent, and I intend to deliver on that. This change means that new strategic growth projects outside the Annual Plan and Long-term growth plan will come to the whole Council to approve.

“I know the public has no time for a Council that sits on its hands and squanders the opportunity to make a difference. I am determined to get the job done, and today’s changes will help deliver a united Council to crack on with the action our city needs,” says Mayor Lester.